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Rushton, Benjamin
1785-1853

Handloom weaver, Chartist and itinerant preacher, born at Dewsbury. He joined Salem MNC chapel, Halifax in 1815 and later served as Sunday School teacher and popular local preacher at Ovenden, appearing at chapel anniversary services in a clean brat, patched knee breeches, highly polished clogs and a tall hat. He appears to have withdrawn from the MNC c. 1821, but continued to preach in Methodist pulpits, despite official disquiet, until about 1830. Thereafter he preached for radical and secessionist congregations across the West Riding. He requested that no paid minister should speak at his funeral, which was organized by the Chartists and drew great crowds.

Sources

  • John A. Hargreaves in K. Dockray and K. Laybourn (eds.), The Representation and Reality of War (Stroud, 1999) pp.72-77, 80
  • John A. Hargreaves, Benjamin Rushton, handloom weaver and chartist (Halifax, 2006)

Entry written by: JAH
Category: Person

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